Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Random thoughts: Being thankful in a crisis

Not sure if some will find this post insensitive, but here goes.

In this crisis period, I am thankful that I am reasonably safe with my job. I might get a pay cut if this crisis drags on, but it is still less painful than what is going on with many sectors. I was taking taxis today, as my car was sent for repair. The uncles all told me earnings are halved. 

I am glad that I am not fearful of this Covid19. I am not sure how this sound to u, but I have cut off completely any entertainment or meeting of friends. I dun really eat out, except for wee hours in the morning, where I indulge in a hot bowl of noodles before I go to school. There is hardly any crowd in the morning.

I washed my hands frequently, and has a santitizer bottle with me. I avoid air-conditioned staffroom and usually mark around the study areas of the school. 

I did these to be responsible to my family and also to my kids. If despite my best intentions, I am infected by it, I leave it to fate/god to go through it to the best of my ability. 

I was rather panaroid and fearful at the beginning. I do get a bit worried once in a while, but I am rather at peace now. I know there are many around me who do might not feel the same way. Perhaps it was a defiance trait, and I think somewhere is February, I suddenly heard a loud internal voice, " F*@ it, living in fear us worse than dying", thereafter, I try to focus on my work and enjoy my work.

My work has become more enjoyable. I enjoy the company of my P6 pupils. My P5 pupils did not do well in the CA test, and some parents are losing confidence in me. I was demoralised but it is just a passing cloud that I know will not pull me down beyond one day. 

Financially, I have only about 30 percent cash left. My portfolio is 12 percent in the red. I could pump up the cash to 40 percent if necessary but I do not really wish to activate my reserves. ( Reserves are not emergency fund,these are No-No) I am thankful that as I look at my bleeding portfolio yesterday, I could think clearly and objectively which companies are my priority to buy if prices continue to head south, how much sizing is too much of a risk, which counters to use CPF to stagger the buying etc. I was not so Zen in the 2008 bear. Maybe that is because I know I have some funds to tap into if markets really continue to go south and I have already built up a reasonable emergency buffer. 

I am thankful that my family are still in good health. 

Lastly, I am not sure how true the reports are, but with the drastic reduction of human activities, it was reported that pollution has decreased and mother earth is healing itself. Protests in Hong Kong has died down. I am under no illusions that the problem will resurfaced after the virus, but I think this cooling off period might actually increase the number of people willing to take the middle ground, and reduce plain exploitation of certain interest groups that are too radical.

Covid 19 is a mirror. I saw the ugly side of me. Its fine, I can live with being ugly. 

I am thankful, I am not blind 


  1. Hi SI,

    That's not an ugly side, that's a calm side.

    The ugly side belongs to those people who switched to panic mode and go with the crowd to snatch up groceries or hoard more sanitizers than they need.

    If we are still having a relatively stable life during this time of crisis, we should be thankful.

    Only 12 % in the red, I think you are pro compared to the average long investors already.

    1. Hi rainbowcoin thanks for your kind words. Those active investors will do a lot better in other times and might have make their pot of gold many times over earlier.

      Me not jealous, just seeing things in perspective.

      A close friend says he wanting to invest ... His record the best now. Lol

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  2. Uncle temp, I believe this equity market is just a hobby for u and your bulk of retirment fubd is somewhere else ...

    U will do fine. Enjoy the bear

  3. Remember when we met few years ago, you told me that you really wanted to leave your job and wanted to start some biz using your savings.

    Good to be thankful of your job which I always felt is one of the most enriching. One day, I will love to be imparting knowledge to the young, when I am old and retired.

    Just a small advice my friend: be more patient and do not look at the stock market everyday. Maybe see it once a week, bi-weekly or once a month from now until next 6-12 months. Otherwise our itchy mind and fingers will click Buy too often!

    1. Hi Rolf,

      Hey thanks for remembering what was said a few years ago. I still remember your sharing of your miracle too.

      Not sure if u know that I stepped down as department head and focus on teaching. It makes all the difference, IMHO

      I see this bear market as a zen practice. Can I look at the bleeding portfolio and think clearly, without fear or greed.

      Can I read the news and continue analysing companies without biases. I think it easier said than done, but I am quite happy with it.

      Money lost can be earn back. This opportunity is perhaps once in a lifetime, to understand myself better

    2. I do not know you stepped down. I think it is a good decision to focus on teaching rather than the politics. This is wisdom! This bear market looks more scary than GFC! By scary, it does not mean bigger stock drop, because I believe govts will do all they can to pump it up with steroids, but it can mean brewing more troubles for future Greater collapse as worse as G. Depression.

      Yeah, the many intangibles miracles and many lows in my life change my mindset about life and about my view on finance. As you may have know I always give priority to my H2F3, Health, Family, Finance, Friends, Hobbies.

      Looking at the bleeding portfolio is super tough. And then you still have to average down is even more tough. It is not as easy as what they say, Greedy when others is fearful.

      The newbies in the market are going to be worst, because all the Gurus teaching them how to earn big bucks and retire early in the last 2-3 yrs and now they are seeing all their hard earn money wipe off! But that is a learning experience. Not always bad to fall down.

    3. Hi Rolf, everyone has to go through this rite of passage if they want to be equity investor.

      Property investor downside is lower in Singapore, but u have the leverage risk.

      Got a lot of money, play property.

      Yes, peace at heart is priceless. I think I put too much focus on my work than my family at times.

      But when holiday come, I dun working... Hahaha

    4. "Property investor downside is lower in Singapore, but u have the leverage risk.
      Got a lot of money, play property."

      Agreed! My ex big boss doesn't bother with equities; he has three investment properties in SG as his retirement fund and income. He won't be reading any headline news that his three property value are crashing or will be crashing soon. No hearing bad news now and then; mind may be calm unlike investing in stock market.

    5. definitely! I also waiting for property to decline and will scoop one more.

      So if gold or stocks increase, sell and buy property.

  4. Sure uncle temp, feel free to comment.

    I believe is a V shape recovery though. Because... ...

    Why u cliff hanger hahahah ... Say la.

    I believe it is V shape because China and Korea has shown that it can be contained.

    The west didn't bother to contain it... Hence the big no.

    Now, there is almost a sync lockdown. And after peaking, it should coincides with the warm summer. I know people says summer might not kill the virus, but I optimistic. If not, I will not be accumulating shares.

  5. Uncle temp,

    What u say means sense too. Will be careful.


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